The limitations of PassivHaus, does less electricity actually mean green?

The limitations of PassivHaus, does less electricity actually mean green?

As it stands, residential buildings are responsible for around 10 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption. And yet, despite a general unwillingness from the majority of the public to adopt more holistic approaches to sustainable housing, the residential sector’s fraction of the nation’s energy glut is actually decreasing. The Australian Government’s 2015 ‘Australian Energy Update’ report suggests that this has been in response to higher electricity prices—not necessarily because consumers (and designers) are becoming more active in the sustainable building movement. A recent research paper by PRDnationwide’s National Research Manager, Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo all but confirms this inference. Mardiasmo explains that the delivery rate of sustainable housing is below expectations due to the dearth of clear information being absorbed by the public about their many features and benefits. Basically, explains Mardiasmo, stakeholders are hesitant to add certain ‘green features’ to their houses because they either don’t know about them or don’t see the monetary benefit they bring to the home. The major drain on residential energy consumption is space conditioning which is currently the largest energy user in the average Australian home, accounting for around 40 per cent of the sector’s energy consumption, and is only becoming more popular. But in light of the growing price of electricity, using renewable energy sources and low-energy appliances to lower a home’s energy bill does give the designer at least one tangible way to sell ‘green building’ to the consumer. The question is though, does less electricity actually mean green? SELLING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IS VIABLE One type of housing design dedicated to limiting the energy consumption of residential buildings is the...
HPD, HUD, AND ELECTED OFFICIALS JOIN CYPRESS HILLS LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO CELEBRATE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION ON CYPRESS SENIOR HOUSING RESIDENCES

HPD, HUD, AND ELECTED OFFICIALS JOIN CYPRESS HILLS LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO CELEBRATE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION ON CYPRESS SENIOR HOUSING RESIDENCES

Brooklyn, New York – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), U.S. Department of Homes and Urban Development (HUD), Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, New York State Assembly Member Erik Martin Dilan, New York State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, and New York City Council Member Rafael Espinal, join Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Inc. and development partners to celebrate the start of construction on Cypress Senior Housing Residences. The new development will be constructed at 137 Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn on vacant land formerly owned by the City of New York. Once constructed, the building will include a total of 53 affordable apartments for very low-income households in which the head of household is 62 years of age or older. “It’s a good day whenever we put shovels in the ground for the affordable housing New Yorkers need. This isn’t just a building. It’s going to be a home and a part of this community. It means low-income seniors, so hard-hit by the rising rents in Brooklyn, will be able to stay in their community,”Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We are committed to keeping East New York affordable and making sure that new housing meets the needs of the families who live here today. We’re proud to work with our community partners and local officials to get this project under way.” HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said, “We must do more to provide safe and affordable housing for our fast growing senior population — our parents and grandparents who helped build this great City. Cypress Senior Housing is exactly the type of development this administration envisioned in...
Affordable housing project in Gates gets $3M in state funding

Affordable housing project in Gates gets $3M in state funding

A townhouse development creating 33 rental units in Gates for local low-income local families is getting a boost from New York in the form of more than $3 million in grant funding. The Crerand Commons project, which involves the construction of six townhouse apartment buildings for families earning 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income, received $2.4 million from the NYS Low-Income Housing Trust Fund and $685,012 in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. The $9.6 million Early Award Housing Opportunity project is designed to comply with energy efficiency requirements of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Low-rise Residential New Construction Program, as well as the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities building program requirements, state officials noted. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the grant as part of $11.3 million awarded statewide through the state Homes and Community Renewal program. All of the projects were funded through the Early Awards program, part of HCR’s Unified Funding Application, state officials noted. To receive funding, projects must demonstrate that they could proceed with construction within 120 calendar days of the award. Applications were submitted six weeks ago, state officials...

Low-Income Vets Find Homes, Services in Green Bay

Major General Jacob Brown Veterans Manor provides 50 units of permanent supportive housing. Major General Jacob Brown Veterans Manor is more than just a home for 50 low-income veterans in Green Bay, Wis. It’s also a place where the residents can find camaraderie as well as extensive supportive services to help them get their lives back on track. Joe ThomaeCardinal Capital Management and the Center for Veterans Issues has opened 50 units of supportive housing for low-income veterans in Green Bay, Wis. Developed by Cardinal Capital Management and the Center for Veterans Issues (CVI), the 50-unit permanent supportive-housing project opened in June and serves veterans ranging from age 30 to the upper 60s from all branches of the military. “We decided to build there in the Fox Valley because we knew there were a great number of low-income veterans living there, and there weren’t a lot of direct veteran services in the area,” says retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Robert Cocroft, president and CEO of CVI. This is the second veterans development for Cardinal Capital Management and CVI in the state. They partnered on a permanent supportive housing project for veterans that opened in 2011 in Milwaukee. Local support was key for Veterans Manor. The development team purchased the site, formerly a farm and a mental health hospital, from Brown County. The county provided 39 Sec. 8 vouchers, in addition to the 10 Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, so the residents pay no more than 30% of their income for rent. The city of Green Bay also provided HOME funds. “The county, the city,...
Affordable housing gets green light from city

Affordable housing gets green light from city

Will not be Section 8, which requires vouchers     With available, affordable housing comes prospective and eventual residents. That’s logic the city of Wahpeton is counting on. Earlier this month, the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency awarded over $2.6 million in low-income housing tax credits to applicant developers. G.A. Haan Development, based out of Harbor Springs, Michigan, earned $670,000 in credits, the highest individual amount awarded. G.A. Haan is now moving forward with the Kennedy Park Townhomes, an affordable housing development to be constructed north of Wahpeton’s Walmart. “We haven’t had an apartment complex built since 1998,” said Wahpeton Economic Development Director Jane Priebe. “(Kennedy Park) coming along, and other projects, like the 50-and-older housing planned near City Hall, gives us a pretty wide variety of options for all income ranges.” Although G.A. Haan is based out of Michigan, most of their properties are based in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Director of Development Ben Ide spoke highly of the low-income housing tax credit program. “It’s one of the most successful public-private partnership programs that the federal government has ever created. It’s responsible for a tremendous amount of housing development across the country,” he said. As part of the program, property owners receive an annual federal income tax credit for 10 years. In return, rents must be kept affordable, or below 60 percent of the area median income for at least 15 years. Along with being affordable, homes under the income tax credit program are held to rigid quality standards, according to Jolene Kline, executive director of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. Now...
Heritage Green rehab of former Navy housing into 560 affordable apartments celebrates its new park

Heritage Green rehab of former Navy housing into 560 affordable apartments celebrates its new park

While the Germantown Mill Lofts is Underhill Associates‘ highest profile development project right now, another significant multi-family housing development in South Louisville is steadily moving forward. A typical building at Heritage Green. (Courtesy Underhill Associates) The $30 million, 560-unit Heritage Green project is a rehabilitation of a 1940s-era complex built for officers returning from World War II into affordable housing renting for $500 to $800. The site includes over 60 structures covering 29 acres next to the United States Naval Ordnance Station. It’s located just off Southside Drive and down the street from the Americana Community Center. A historic aerial of today’s Heritage Green site. (Courtesy Underhill Associates) Developers placed the complex on the National Register of Historic Places to gain eligibility for historic tax credits to help fund the renovations. Because of its age, the buildings are surrounded by large trees. The development group led by Underhill acquired the property in 2014 and announced formal plans earlier this year. The apartments are expected to be complete in 2016. Last week, the development got its very own park, the prolix Heritage Green Neighborhood Activity Center, located in the back corner of the property. The outdoor space represents a group effort of the Louisville Redevelopment Authority, Underhill Associates, Metro Parks, and Louisville Metro Government. The park has been dedicated to the Metro Parks system, according to a press release. “Parks and community activity centers…were identified in Vision Louisville, Louisville’s 25-year vision for the built environment,” Gretchen Milliken, director of the Office of Advanced Planning, said in a statement. “The overall Heritage Green project touches upon a number of the Vision Louisville goals, including healthy...